Gas Operator Fined after Worker Killed

Thursday, March 7, 2013 @ 06:03 PM gHale


Natural gas producer and operator J.R. Resources is facing $22,400 in fines for eight safety and health violations at its Ringgold, PA, gas well site after a worker, who was not provided or required to wear flame- resistant clothing, died from injuries sustained during a flash fire, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The seven serious violations cited include failing to require and provide flame-resistant clothing be worn when working around natural gas; provide fall protection from stairs on brine tanks; provide a written hazard communication program and training; and properly label tanks and prevent workers from riding in the bucket of a backhoe.

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The employer also ended up cited for utilizing an electric pump in the presence of flammable materials. A serious citation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer new, or should have known, of the hazard.

One other-than-serious violation was for failing to report the fatality to OSHA within eight hours, as required by law. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment, and that includes finding and fixing hazards associated with the workplace,” said Theresa A. Naim, director of the OSHA Erie Area Office. “OSHA will continue to hold employers responsible when they fail to protect their workers.”



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